Music Reviews



ENCODER: Supernatural

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 20 2006
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Artist: ENCODER (@)
Title: Supernatural
Format: CD EP
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
"Engineered for Maximum Dancefloor Impact", so it is printed in black letters on a white info sheet. Should this be taken as a warning? Nah, take it as a hint of what you get here. This Cleveland based duo, consisting of DJ Cable and Pat Berdysz (the BRUNO of a US-legend called UV, www.uv-wavelength.com) has finally released its debut CD, this one here called an EP, but with a playing time of more than 78 minutes. So you’ll get a really filled CD for your money, just check back the nice DSBP mail order service for this. Some comparable similarities in comparison to the mentioned UV are of course given. The concept of this release reminds me a lot on the self-released UV debut "Refractions: Remixes In A Different Light". First of the long playing time, then we have on both some original tracks and several remix works, although on the ENCODER EP are more original tracks featured – and then finally we have on both releases the appearance of Romell Regulacion of the Hawaiian act RAZED IN BLACK. He has done the lyrics and vocals for the track "November", a sentimental Futurepop-inspired track here which is available in its original version and in a remix done by BRUNO. So you get it already on the first 3 tracks on this EP here, where the musically journey goes and where to find the biggest differences between UV and ENCODER. ENCODER definitively presents the softer side, Synth/Futurepop and only with a very few EBM influences. The title track "Supernatural" is well done, available here in its original version plus in three remix versions done by good names like BRAINCLAW, INTERFACE and DECODED FEEDBACK. The second main track "Dancemotherfuckers" is mostly a fast paced instrumental piece simply containing the command "Dance Motherfuckers!" with modern dancefloor rhythm patterns and well played bass lines. Not the greatest composition in lifetime for sure, more a track to show technical abilities, but damned catchy. Remixers at work here are DJ CABLE himself, FLESH FIELD, TERRORFAKT and the German act SCHATTENSCHLAG. So we have finally a few other tracks available in their original versions – and that's for sure is the best part of this EP, it gives a better introduction to the ENCODER sound than any remix work. Worth to mention are here "Rush", "Now You’re Gone" and of course the harsh piece "Contraption" – all tracks feature darker instrumentals and rougher vocals as well. On the other side we have two more tracks, "The Killer’s Last Stand" and "Erased" which give me the impression that they are musically ready produced – but someone has "forgotten" to include the vocals. Really – these tracks would work a lot better if they would feature a singer – for instrumental pieces these tracks are too uninteresting produced, the vocalist is hardly missed here. Please note also the eye-catching artwork featuring the Goth beauty Malice (www.beautydestroyed.com) – the info mentioned, that "it is still better to purchase this CD than downloading it". I would say, it is the best to know her somehow personal – but don’t tell this my wife...Although it is a bit strange for me to get mostly Futurepop-inspired stuff from the DSBP label, I’ll find this one impressive, the more I listen to it. Musically diversity is presented rich, also thanks to the valuable remix contributors presenting different styles of electronic-based music. Also the long playing time of this release makes it to get purchased.

RESURRECTION EVE: Ascension

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 20 2006
cover
Artist: RESURRECTION EVE (@)
Title: Ascension
Format: CD
Label: GUP / Endless Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Yes, it took me a while until I had the right feeling for this review. But this has nothing to do that this release would lack somehow of quality, no, it depends more on the opposite of this. I have heard a lot of Synthpop/Futurepop influenced stuff, but lately nothing like this second CD of this Australian duo. Especially the vocals done by front man Jordan Robbins are somehow strange, but also beautiful placed in the mix, plus Robbins is able to change the octaves. A very catchy and important point in the music of RESURRECTION EVE for sure. But also the music has its quality and surprises to offer. Take the slow starting and with decent piano and flute sounds arranged "Hope" as a well produced reference here – the rich musical content only placed in this track beats a lot of Genre-related acts out of this playing field! RESURRECTION EVE have found the right feeling to fill in a well working melody when needed without sounding like heard several times before. And although they are sounding modern and up-to-date, they still do not feature that typical F-Pop sound, on which almost everybody has to suffer in between. Next to the already mentioned "Hope", I would like to advise you to check out their tracks "Life", "Ascension" (danceable, but strong melodic...) and "Guide Me Home" (remarkable Synthpop entertainment...). Also RESURRECTION EVE are a member of the Australian Crash Frequency community (www.crashfrequency.com). This album has a lot of to offer, also for some open-minded Electro listeners. What a pity that their label Ground Under Productions in Australia has finally closed their business doors – for Europe this great release is still available through Endless Records, for the USA you have to contact the known mail order resources like DSBP or Metropolis-Records. Get it!

VV.AA.: Electronic Renaissance

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 16 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electronic Renaissance
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Compilations for independent bands are always a chance to get known but they are also an hazard for the buyer because sometimes a cool track isn’t enough for understanding the quality of a band. ELECTRONIC REINAISSANCE brings to the attention of its five hundred potential buyers twelve bands/tracks of pure retro electronic new wave produced by nowadays bands. All the bands have the distinctive analogue sound of the Roland / Korg gear and each of them give their personal view of the genre giving to it an experimental treatment, an electro e.b.m. touch or a minimal detached approach. Fortunately most of the tracks are intriguing and worth a listening. Among the others I preferred the tracks of: Porn Darsteller ("L'Ingénue"), Jeunesse Fantôme ("Ksiezyc"), Wermut ("Media In Vita In Morte Sumus"), Solitarien Effekten ("Zeitgeist Overkill"), Konform ("Nachts") and La Comtesse Morte ("No No Never").

VV.AA.: Cuts And Pieces

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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May 16 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Cuts And Pieces
Format: CD
Label: Kitty Yo (@)
Rated: *****

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Compiled by Mea Liedl with the supervision of Jan Driver (who already produced remixes for Laurent Garnier, Faithless, Whirlpool, Lucid and 2Raumwohung) and mixed by Harry Axt CUTS AND PIECES gather tracks that have been previously released for the Kitty Cuts vinyl sub-label. The track list contains good electro tracks such as Codec And Flexor’s "I’ll be gone" (I already reviewed their new album), Raz Ohara’s "Hymn" (here reworked by Richard Davis which did of it a seducing electro house track), Rhythm King And Her Friends’"I’m disco" remixed by Mia or the electro tune "Common sense your flickering eyelids" by Richard Davies mixed by Ed Laliq. Techno surfaces with Jahcoozi’s "JahC/DC" remixed by Modeselector just to leave the space to an 80s flavoured tune (a little pop and electro) thanks to Ed Laliq that with "Love can make you blind" is ninth into the fourteen tracklist of CUTS AND PIECES. Man Like Me’s "Oh my gosh" sounds like a reggae electro tune from the 80s but the party doesn’t stop here because the Phon.o remix of Gold Chains & Sue Cie’s "Crowd control" sounds like an electro raggamuffin version of Bananarama just like Jahcoozi’s "Black Barbie" remixed by Modeselektor. This CD is good to party with and it also a enjoyable listening if you are driving your car, so you should definitely give it a try!

DIOXYDE: Social Phobia

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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May 13 2006
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Artist: DIOXYDE (@)
Title: Social Phobia
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
The Spanish project DIOXYDE returns after 4 years in hiatus and a long time of health recovery after a bad accident with a motor bike. Being started as a duo, DIOXYDE did release back in 2002 their highly praised debut CD "Torschlusspanik" on the long-time defunct Dying Culture label. This debut got released earlier than things started to go mad with the new "fun" genre terms like "Hellektro" and related, and it can be surely called a classic of hard and dark Electro/EBM. Now working alone, finally Marco Calvo is able again after the mentioned accident to concentrate on his music an he has created here 10 tracks and he could add 3 remix works. The music is one of the finest kinds of hard ripping EBM/Dark Electro music, following strong the ideas and sounds of the big players like SUICIDE COMMANDO and AGONOIZE. It reminds me from it’s kind more on the older phases of SUICIDE COMMANDO, Marco mostly spins his tracks in mid-tempo, which gives enough free space for some rhythmical Powernoise influences. Therefor the favs can be found in "Cae La Pression" or the great played instrumental "Aftermath". There are of course some pure and massive floor fillers like "Words Of Judas" or the HOCICO-sounding "Vida Rota", which received an excellent remix by FEINDFLUG. Next to FEINDFLUG we have in AGONOIZE ("Invasive Therapy") and TACTICAL SEKT (Cae La Pression") known and notorious acts offering their remix abilities. Marco proves with this whole album that he is able to play as a solo artist, also the given mix between classical Dark Electro and stompy EBM assaults works well here. No real secret is also the long-time friendship from Marco to his alter ego Johan Van Roy aka SUICIDE COMMANDO, so this might to explain the contract between DIOXYDE and the new NTP label. So you get here one of the hardest, but also most worked out EBM/Dark Electro albums around, nearly in the quality and style, which "Torschlusspanik" has entered before. The names and references speak for itself - what are you waiting for...?


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